X Ambassadors w/ Jacob Banks and Shaed
Showbox SoDo, Seattle, WA
“Unsteady” has been played millions of times. 198.7 million times on Spotify alone, to be exact. And while I’ll admit that’s a few too many times for my personal taste, X Ambassadors has so many other songs that show of their talent even more. So, while many fans may have purchased tickets for their show at Showbox SoDo to see “Unsteady” and “Renegades” live, they probably left with many new favorites.
Another new favorite may have been Shaed, the first opening band. Last time the trio was in Seattle—opening for Bishop Briggs at the other Showbox venue—lead singer Chelsea Lee was a bit under the weather, but the group still put on such a stunning performance they drew quite a crowd of their own back to SoDo. Now early on in the tour and healthy enough to perform, the trio killed their set. A lovely mix of soft moments that highlighted Lee’s echoey voice, and bright bubble-gum pop moments, the set moved around quickly, captivating audience members who wished they knew the words to sing along to the fun tracks.
Next up was “your friendly neighborhood Spiderman, Jacob Banks, gang gang for life.” Despite an intro like that, Jacob Banks actually isn’t a Soundcloud rapper waiting for his big break. He’s a singer who’s been releasing heartbreakingly emotional albums and tracks since 2013. His sound pulled more from the heavy side of X Ambassador’s discography, tapping into sad experiences with a deep voice and effortlessly soft backing instrumentals.
X Ambassadors started their set with “Ahead of Myself,” a track popular enough for the crowd to be familiar with it, but not so familiar with it that it would’ve been better suited for a closing song. A great intro to their energy, these guys didn’t mess around. With a blind piano player that still rocks harder than half the crowd, a drummer that sets the tone well, and a lead singer that never stands still, the energy in the room skyrocketed right from the start.
“Jungle” gave a nice hint of the band’s more hardcore rock side, a nice contrast to “Unsteady,” which closed their set. The whole night was a well-crafted mix of their different musical capabilities, well unified by their energetic and loving performance.
Review and photos by Lulu Dawson